PBS: The Human Spark

 

alan-alda-human-spark

For a good introduction to what sets humans apart from other animals, you can’t do much better than Alan Alda’s three-part series The Human Spark.

It is easy to think that since the lives of humans are so different from the lives of other animals, there must be big differences in how we are put together.

But is that the case? Are humans very different from other animals? No. We share almost everything with at least some, and often many, other species.

It is the small differences – often in degree – that sets us apart. As we know from the butterfly effect, in a complex system, small differences in the initial conditions can lead to big differences in how it all unfolds over time. In this case, small differences in biology leads to big differences in how we live our lives.

It is these small differences that leads to what we see as uniquely human such as relatively advanced culture, technology, and social organization.

Small differences can have big consequences.

This mini-series is also a reminder of the importance of how we approach any project. Alan Alda approaches the topic with curiosity, receptivity, and heart, and that makes for a balanced, fascinating, and very well made documentary.

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The Human Spark is a good three-part introduction to some of the small differences between humans and other animals that have big consequences.

It is a good reminder that although we share almost everything with some or many other species, differences in degree leads to major differences in how we live our lives.

…………..

For a good introduction to what sets humans apart from other animals, you can’t do much better than Alan Alda’s three-part series The Human Spark.

Are humans very different from other animals? No. We share almost everything with some or many other species.

It is the small differences – often in degree – that sets us apart, and leads to what we see as uniquely human such as relatively advanced culture, technology, and social organization.

Small differences can have big consequences. Small differences in biology create huge differences in how we live our lives.

I guess this is an example of the butterfly effect in biology. In a complex system, small differences in the initial conditions leads to big differences in how it all unfolds over time.

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